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Tourism dept wants budget reviewed as the sector springs back to life

The sector was among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 lockdown regulations with inter-provincial and international travel shut down – forcing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to shave off funds for tourism.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – The tourism department wants its budget reviewed to allow for a financial injection with local travel ramping up.

The sector was among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 lockdown regulations with inter-provincial and international travel shut down – forcing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to shave off funds for tourism during the adjustment budget.

In June, the tourism sector estimated that it lost over R50 billion in revenue generation due to the lockdown.

While the amount was steeper than initially anticipated, the department responsible for bringing life back into the sector said it had begun talks with Treasury in a bid to secure more financial assistance.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said: “We are constantly in conversation with Treasury. We understood at the time that there is a need for this, and Treasury assured us that when the time comes, they will definitely support us. There’s a budget cycle to go back and negotiate with the adjustments.”

The World Travel and Tourism Council said tourism contributed 2.8% to the country’s GDP in 2018 – with the amount expected to rise to R145 billion in 2019.

One point five million people are also employed in the sector.

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